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Twitter Chat Review – Yammer vs Teams Smackdown

25 Aug 2017 by Laura Zawacki

In July we hosted our inaugural Twitter Chat to find out if the Microsoft community favoured Yammer or Microsoft Teams. We had several enthusiastic participants and you can relive the Twitter chat by searching for the hashtag, #O365AdminChat on Twitter. Here’s an overview of what was discussed.
 Question 1. What was the deciding factor between using Yammer or Teams?

What we learned here was that the decision to use Yammer or Teams depends less on a preference for the tool, and more on the audience, tone, and purpose of the communication or activity. There was some general consensus that Yammer lends itself to company-wide collaboration, announcements, and education, whereas Teams is better for focused activity or project-based work.
@Jaredmatfess wisely stated, “Trying to force business users to a tool vs trying to solve their problem with technology results in failed adoption. #O365AdminChat”
We agree with Jared. While too many tools can result in confusion, a few strategically-used tools can be extremely beneficial to ensure you’re using an appropriate channel to achieve the desired participation and result.
Question 2. In your opinion, can and should Yammer co-exist with Teams?

While the answers from Q.1 would suggest that there’s a place for both tools, we heard some concerns about them co-existing – specifically around the topic of compliance and discovery. One participant shared that in the healthcare industry, the lack of eDiscovery functionally prevents users from taking advantage of these tools. The topic of mergers and acquisitions also came up: utilising several tools can complicate migrations and create conflict between newly joined teams.
Still, others insisted that they should co-exist and information should actually flow from Team activity and into Yammer for training and community purposes.
 Question 3. What are your best practices for managing Microsoft’s different communication apps/features?

We saw some great tips for managing Microsoft’s various apps:

  • Test new features first in a separate first-release tenant.
  • Identify business problems that can be used as a pilot to test features.
  • Involve users in the selection of tools, since they’re closest to the problem.
  • Monitor adoption to see which apps are easiest for end users.
  • Do some research to discover how various apps are connected/work together.

 Question 4. How have you dealt with user push-back to use one platform over the other?

The answers to this question were short and sweet. If users are against using a certain platform, it’s typically an adoption problem, and they’re likely lacking training. If users don’t understand why they’re supposed to use a tool, and don’t know how to use it, they’ll resist. Be open to feedback, and reassess whether the specific tool is the best option. Perhaps there’s another underlying issue at play. If you involve users in the selection process, as mentioned previously, you’re more likely to get buy-in and adoption early on.
Question 5. In your opinion, what are the best features of each platform?

Here are a few opinions from our participants:
@jaredmatfess A5 – I love the extensibility of @MicrosoftTeams, especially addition of chatbots. Productivity possibilities are endless. #O365AdminChat
@jaredmatfess A5 – I also like the opt-in nature of @Yammer, being able to explore areas of interest. Selectively join if interested #O365AdminChat
@thatmattwade .@MicrosoftTeams is proving to actually become the one app that rules them all. Tabs/connectors are a game changer. Never need to leave.
Question 6. What features would you like to see in each platform?

There were quite a few items on our participants’ wish lists but some of them included: more integration of Yammer with SharePoint, and modernizing Yammer. A few people pointed out how overwhelming Teams can be at times and suggested a custom view of teams with recent participation.
It was great to see users in the Microsoft community share their opinions and tips on Microsoft Yammer and Microsoft Teams. What we discovered is that there’s no clear favorite – there’s a time and place for Yammer, Teams, or both!
Our next Twitter Chat will take place in September – check back on our blog for the topic and date!
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